Monday, August 30, 2010

back to school!

whelp. i went back to work last week and the kids came back today! although i'm now relegated to the dark hours for training, no complaints here. i really love my job.

now that my energy is pulled in many directions i'm just trying to go back to basics and focus on getting it done in all areas of life. 6 weeks till Kona. i always remember to eat, sleep, work, train...but there is one thing i need a reminder for. must remember to drink water. thing is (confession time) that i reeeeeaaally don't like water. i find plain water tolerable if i'm more than 90 minutes into a ride or run and need something wet. otherwise, just not a fan. i like fizzy water, i like diet soda, i like vitamin water zero, i like coffee & tea. so anyway, no need to tell me how good fresh clear water is for me. i know. and i'm working on it! anyone else not a water fan?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"ch" squared

chasing charisa.

it's really all i've been doing the last week or so. i am lucky to have found someone who is doing lots of bike miles and hard bike workouts just like me...hmmmm....maybe we have the same drill sergeant i mean coach.

another shot of charisa from behind (those are the only shots i can get!)

it's great for me, obviously, to chase her around playing (and often losing) the "just keep her in your sights" game. i told charisa that she would just have to play the "hold 'er off" game- in this game, she pretends i am someone behind her closing in and she needs to keep her lead and open the gap.

i find myself asking what it is exactly that i bring to the training table in these types of riding situations, because for me, they happen a lot. i am nearly always the caboose. i am super lucky to have such motivating and challenging training partners, but i want to make sure that THEY get something out of the deal too. i so i ask myself this question a lot:"why do they ride with me?"

well, these are my answers: during rest intervals or easy rides, i am someone fun to talk to. i am a pretty good navigator and know my way around much of san diego county. i'm usually not THAT far behind that it makes the ride unbearable. i often will adapt my ride plans (going super early, or drive to meet someone) to make it convenient for them. and i'm usually in a pretty good and positive mood. i'm also a good confidence booster- for those that spend their time chasing fast boys or riding alone- when they ride with me they see how much they kick ass!
this is not some "woe is me" thing. i've just been thinking and hoping i'm not a total liability. i've had a lot of thinking time lately when i'm OTB (off the back) and just waiting for the next rest stop :). by the way, charisa is going to kick butt at IM Wisconsin. she is STRONG. must be from all the "hold 'er off" workouts.

this is a cute 100+ mile ride - charisa and ian in their cute zoot kits stretching.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hmmmm...where was i?

oh yes, finishing up the mid-west/east coast tour. we made it to philadelphia to hang with my family. my parents have recently moved from the 'burbs to the big city and showed us how the cool cats live. their new neighborhood is the center of downtown action and has about 100 restaurants, bars and shops within just a couple of blocks. we checked out lolita, village whiskey, the reading terminal market, and a few other spots. what i am lacking in coolness and hipster-ness and culture is easily made up for by my parents and siblings. maybe i can be cool like them in 20 years.

my sister, brother and their boyfriends/girlfriends and my step-mother marsha- waiting for a table at village whiskey...

the highlight of the philadelphia trip was definitely the gran fondo century ride with my dad. unlike eastern virginia, philly is hilly! the route had almost 7,000 feet of climbing of beautiful urban and country roads. and some scary ass descending of which i was NOT a fan.

unlike james and i who train more that part-time, my dad's training has been super limited due to moving from burbs to city in july and his work schedule (he's a neonatologist super doc).
but he made it, with a smile on his face. such a champ.
we headed back to san diego on the 10th and have been playing catch up all week followed by a monster training weekend. more on that soon. less than 8 weeks to kona!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

vacation part 2. virginia time!

after a couple days unwinding with my sister in chicago after steelhead 70.3, james packed up the bikes again and we flew to virginia to visit the Walsh's. we spent some quality time with the in-laws, the brother/sister-in laws and our two year old nephew.

he loves the iphone...

on the training front: as courtenay says, it was hazy, hot, and humid- the 3 H's- perfect Kona training! husband and i hit the roads daily and logged many miles, but no intervals..just riding. coming from california, we have "flat" rides, but even our flattest one-hour coastal ride has about 700 feet of rolling up/down ascent. in virginia, we rode 65 miles with 200 TOTAL feet of climbing. it was crazy busting out these rides in just over 3 hours when in cali a 65 miler is 4 hours. little ring need not apply.

virginia back country riding is no stoplights, few cars, LOTS of corn and LOTS of james wheel. even though we are on two bikes, its basically like we are riding a tandem as i'm glued to his back wheel.

this was the highest elevation point in our rides- Pongo Ferry Bridge.

turns out i'm better at following james' wheel than my own line as i ate it in the driveway at the end of a ride. this was great as i got to be scabby mcScabberson for the remainder of the trip and the cuts on my lips/chin dried up to look like i smeared chocolate all over my face. sweet.

of course, i was on the ground, crying and horrified as i thought i bashed all my teeth in and was snaggletoothed and freaking out and the first thing james asks is if he can take a picture.

as the scabs dried over the next few days, we kept moving. one day we decided to ride to north carolina. because.....why not?
this was my favorite ride because the turn-around gas station had a Dairy Queen- one kiddie cone please!!

we spent some great time in the saddle, and event better time just chillin' with the fam. threw some runs in there too....but honestly the running there sucks. no thanks. flat sidewalks on busy roads.... oh and swimming. TRI althlon, right? hmmm...what's swimming again? whoops.

friday was time to pack up again and drive up to philadelphia to see my folks. as we drove through the eastern shore of maryland, i insisted on a (long) detour for some blue crabs, oysters, and corn on the cob.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

steelhead 70.3

steelhead 70.3 was a nice side effect to a fabulous trip to visit my sister and brother-in law in chicago.

we also got to explore southern michigan which was awesome (in the summer of course!) . we were very lucky with an incredible place to stay near the race site. my sister's friend from work had a beautiful house right on the lake in benton harbor, MI. super relaxing, homey and perfect. thank you, KATIE!!!!
the view from Katie's...

Rather than go the typical race report avenue, i'm just going to share and email exchange (no edits!) between me and coach Dirk the day after the race..

From the coach:
"Looked at race results yesterday. Shit, you AG was tough. 4 minutes and 4 slots. Do you think the maga miles over past couple weeks cost you some speed?" (i told you no edits- he needs spell check, huh? :) )

From me: (you will notice that i did not directly address his question of the mega miles because i a) forgot and b) don't know the answer)

"haha. yes, i was 10th overall including pros (small pro field) but 4th in AG. tough group, i just have to get faster!

didn't help that i crashed on the bike- took a 90 degree turn at mile 23 in pouring rain and skidded out on the gravel and flew off my bike. had to reset my brakes (both rubbing) and the chain and get my s%$t together. i also stopped another time to reset my brakes that were rubbing - they weren't releasing well will the rain for some reason).
anyhow, no excuses! that's all rider error anyway and i probably only lost a total of 2-3 minutes. not enough to win my ag (winner beat me by 5).
i didn't run very well. the run course was tough (definitely more like vineman than o'side hill-wise and lots of twisty small paths where is was hard to get in a rhythm. but regardless, i felt not that great. i may need to take in more calories on the bike- was feeling kind of low. i took in about 450 cal total on the bike.
i threw up on the bike 2 times in the beginning so prob. lost some calories there. i think my HR was too high after the swim to take in calories and was hard to take in and digest.
i'm switching drink before kona- i just ordered some powerbar perform and will start testing it when i get home.
overall, the race was fun.some errors, but still a PR for me.
even better, james went 4:08 and won his age group! pulled out a 1:18 run.

the new goal is for both of us to win our AG at IM Texas & stand on the 30-34 podium together. can we make that happen?
have a great sunday!

finishing up the run..

the team at the finish

that email pretty much sums it up except for a few things-
1) the swim - i swam 30:15. i beat james by SIX seconds (winner winner chicken dinner!) . too bad we weren't in the same wave, we could have pulled each other around as we both swam alone

2) it was POURING rain pre race, during the swim, and the first half of the bike for me. my first rainy race. guess i have gotten lucky!

3) that goal- IM Texas is a real goal and i have my sights set on that even more than Kona i think. Kona will be a blast no matter what and i am just lucky to experience it this year and take it all in. i would like to do well, but by no means think i can come in on the podium there. and for my first time there that's not what matters (although i will try my hardest to do as well as i possibly can and i do believe top 10 in my age group could be a nice long shot goal and i will not sell myself short and say i'm just going for the experience. i am going for the experience and i'm going to LAY IT DOWN! ). the reason i am more excited about IM Texas is that i get to race it with james in his first ironman and i am SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY that he is fully sucked back in to the road triathlon world and loving it. dream come true! we are sharing so many more experiences and miles together now and i could not be happier.

another reason to set my sights on IM Texas...his award is bigger than mine.. not gonna let that happen again! kidding, of course.

4) my total time/splits for anyone who cares and for me to have for future reference were
swim: 30:15
bike: 2:37:46
run: 1:30:34
total: 4:42:56

4th/137 age group 30-34
10th/634 total women
so i'm very happy with my first top 10 at a 70.3.

saturday night after the race, we headed back to chicago & hit the town with my sister and one of my BFFs from college. Just so happens that she is dating a triathlete from Team Timex and he was showing around another Timex teammate..good times with spandex lovers! ! we stuck around for dinner and beers, but made our exit just as they were ordering Red Bull Vodkas...i heard it was a late night! i always miss the fun stuff!

andrew, james, brother-in-law dan, me, heather, mark

on sunday we took a final spin around the lake before packing the stop- Virginia!